From the times I TA'd and, later, taught calculus, there were always examples of compounding interest problems. Later in advanced calc there was the derivation of e shown as an example of taking the limit of compounding period down to zero. Then there are all of the financial examples in prob/stat if you go that route.And I don't think teaching it specifically as a compounding interest problem would make a damn bit of difference. Most people understand the concept of compounding interest, maybe not the mathematics but the idea. Going from the idea to implementing it in the real world is where people have problems. I have a friend I'll call Stan because his name is Stan. Great guy, horrible with money. But his parents have money. Stan explained many times that his dad never had a job that was anything more than middle income, but his dad packed a ham sandwich every day to work and saved and invested his whole life and by late middle age was worth a big pile of money. So his dad retired early and bought a big house on a golf course. So having personally seen the example of how to achieve financial success, Stan blows every dime he gets. I don't think a class would have made a damn bit of difference.
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